Literacy: How to Learn to Read

If you are reading this article, it’s obvious that you know how to read the English language, but someone that you know and love might need help. In fact, even you might have some understanding of English, but you want to get better. Great!

English is the most spoken language in the world and because of the British Empire and United States of America, it will continue to be that way for quite some time. Learning how to read and write English is actually quite easy compared to most languages, but it requires time, patience, and practice.

This article will help you to learn how to read better or teach someone how to read with the basics. In order to understand how to become literate, it is important to view how a child learns to read to get into the same mindset.

Sounds and Connections to Print

The alphabet has no real meaning on its own. If you think about the various different letters in the English language, these do not have a lot of meaning individually. However, if you look at how these letters are formed with other words they start to take on meaning. Each of these letters are linked together with sounds called “phonemes”. This isn’t something you need to remember, but in essence it is the blending of letters together to create words.

Children often learn English by finding the relationship between sounds and letters. The beginning reader must learn the connections of approximately 44 sounds of spoken English in addition to the 26 letters of the alphabet. For some people, it is possible to have 30 or even 40 of the sounds well spoken without being fluent in the language.

There is a lot of research done by the NICHD in the United States, which teaches us a lot about how a child (or beginner) learns to read. By understanding this process, it is possible to teach people to become literate far more easy in the English language. Usually, the process of learning to connect and translate printed symbols into sound is not difficult.

This process of breaking speech into segmented sounds is one of the reasons a newly literate person in English has to sound out words with such slow precision. They are just getting used to the different sounds that go together in the English language. This is the most important part of becoming literate in English and it is one that requires a lot of practice!

Why Literacy in English is Important

There are many schools of thought on learning languages, but for many people it is a process of leaning in order to communicate with the world. English is a language that everyone should know if they want to be well traveled, able to communicate with people from all regions of the world, and are generally interested in some type of life outside their own country.

For children who are living in an English speaking country it is even more important to have a good grasp of the English language. Literacy at a young age is going to help the child to develop far faster and more efficiently than most other children. It will give them an advantage over their peers that can last them for a long time. More importantly, by practicing literacy early, they can be ahead when they finally get into school.

The important thing to consider with teaching children literacy is that they are often far more susceptible to learning than an adult. Their brain chemistry is such that there is a lot of growth going on and most of it is going to impact them later on. This rapid growth is something that everyone should try to take advantage of as much as possible. For children it means learning the language with far more ease and depth.

Even if an adult is learning to become literate later on in life, that doesn’t mean they have a disadvantage. It might be a slower process, but they can learn just as well and just as fast. Make sure that you are able to get support if you or someone you know is learning to become literate at a later age.

Literacy and Additional Learning

You might find that becoming literate helps you to learn far more than you would have expected in other realms of your life as well. The development that your brain undergoes when learning a new language is very intensive in a caloric sense. Your body will literally use up more food and energy in order to become literate and learn more about the world around you.

Welcome to the world of literacy for you and your loved ones! Learning the English language in print will make a big difference and change your life for the better!